How to Deploy Keycloak In Kubernetes using ArgoCD?

As Kubernetes continues to gain popularity among DevOps professionals, tools like ArgoCD are becoming essential for managing and automating deployments. In this guide, we’ll walk you through deploying Keycloak, a powerful open-source identity and access management solution, in a Kubernetes cluster using ArgoCD. Whether you’re using Amazon EKS, Azure AKS, Google GKE, or another Kubernetes platform, this guide will be relevant to you.

What is ArgoCD?

ArgoCD is a declarative, GitOps continuous delivery tool for Kubernetes. It automates the deployment of applications by monitoring Git repositories and ensuring that the state of your Kubernetes cluster matches the desired state defined in the Git repository. If you know about Terraform, ArgoCD is to Kubernetes what Terraform is to infrastructure provisioning. You enforce the state of your application with a definition in your Git repository.

Key Features of ArgoCD:

  • Declarative GitOps: Manages applications through Git repositories.
  • Self-Healing: Automatically syncs and corrects drift between the desired state and the live state of your applications.
  • Multi-Cluster Support: Deploys applications to multiple Kubernetes clusters.
  • Integrated Security: Supports role-based access control (RBAC) and single sign-on (SSO). We can cover that in another blog where we use Keycloak as ArgoCD’s IdP.
  • Argo Rollouts: Provides advanced deployment strategies, including blue-green deployments, canary releases, and automated rollbacks.

Why Use ArgoCD for Deploying Keycloak?

Pros of Using ArgoCD:

  • Automated Deployments: Ensures your applications are always up-to-date with the desired state defined in your Git repository. If anyone dares making a change manually, you are assured it will have no effect.
  • Easy Rollbacks: Quickly revert to previous versions if something goes wrong.
  • Enhanced Visibility: Provides a clear and auditable deployment history. Specially if you add security controls on your deployment repository.
  • Scalability: Easily manage and scale deployments across multiple clusters.
  • Consistency: Ensures consistent environments across development, staging, and production.

Steps to Deploy Keycloak Using ArgoCD


  1. A Kubernetes cluster (EKS, AKS, GKE, or any other Kubernetes service). We do not cover how to get one. A search or a chat with an AI tool will provide you how.
  2. kubectl configured to interact with your Kubernetes cluster.
  3. A Git repository to store your Keycloak manifests. We will deploy a simple pod through a deployment. We can take a look at some nuances when using a helm chart in another post.

Step 1: Install ArgoCD

If ArgoCD is not already installed in your cluster, you can install it using the following commands:

kubectl create namespace argocd
kubectl apply -n argocd -f

Once installed, you can access the ArgoCD UI by port-forwarding the ArgoCD server service (don’t worry about the certificates for now. We just want to test locally):

kubectl port-forward svc/argocd-server -n argocd 8080:443

Step 2: Configure ArgoCD

Login to the ArgoCD UI using the initial admin password:

kubectl get secret argocd-initial-admin-secret -n argocd -o jsonpath="{.data.password}" | base64 -d; echo

Navigate to https://localhost:8080 and log in with the username admin and the password obtained above.

Step 3: Prepare Keycloak Manifests

Create a directory in your Git repository to store your Keycloak Kubernetes manifests. For example, create a keycloak directory and add the following keycloak-deployment.yaml and keycloak-service.yaml files:


apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
  name: keycloak
  namespace: keycloak
  replicas: 1
      app: keycloak
        app: keycloak
        - name: keycloak
          args: ["start-dev"]
            - name: KEYCLOAK_ADMIN
              value: "admin"
            - name: KEYCLOAK_ADMIN_PASSWORD
              value: "admin"
            - name: KC_PROXY
              value: "edge"
            - name: http
              containerPort: 8080
              path: /realms/master
              port: 8080


apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
  name: keycloak
  namespace: keycloak
  - port: 8080
     targetPort: 8080
    app: keycloak
  type: LoadBalancer

The LoadBalancer type is optional as we will forward the keycloak container port to our local network.

Step 4: Create a Namespace for Keycloak

There are multiple ways to create the namespace: from ArgoCD or using another resource YAML file are 2 examples. In this example, we will simply create the resource from the command line using kubectl:

kubectl create namespace keycloak

Step 5: Configure repository credentials

Access ArgoCD’s UI, then go to Settings and Repositories:

  1. Select the git protocol you wish to use: SSH, HTTPS, etc.
  2. Fill in your connection details
  3. Save by clicking on Connect

Step 6: Add the Application to ArgoCD

Go to Applications from the UI, then click on NEW APP. From there fill in the appropriate in formation:

  1. Application Name: keycloak
  2. Project: default
  3. Sync Policy: Automatic (it will poll your git repo every x minutes to synchronise your application with new changes. Using a webhook is also possible). You will also have options to prune and self heal the application. I will let you discover those by yourself 😉.
  4. Repository URL: URL of your Git repository
  5. Path: Path to the keycloak directory in your repository that contains the Kubernetes YAML definitions.
  6. Cluster: URL of your Kubernetes cluster. If ArgoCD is installed in the same cluster as Keycloak, use the option from the dropdown menu (https://kubernetes.default.svc)
  7. Namespace: keycloak

If you click on edit as YAML, your configuration should look like so:

kind: Application
  name: keycloak
    name: ''
    namespace: keycloak
    server: 'https://kubernetes.default.svc'
    path: keycloak
    repoURL: '<YOUR-REPO>.git'
    targetRevision: HEAD
  sources: []
  project: default
      prune: false
      selfHeal: false

Click Create to add the application.

Step 6: Sync the Application

Once the application is created, click Sync to deploy Keycloak to your Kubernetes cluster. Argo will monitor the Git repository and ensure that the cluster state matches the repository state.

To access your Keycloak instance, you can now port-forward:

kubectl port-forward -n keycloak svc/keycloak 8080:8080

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